Bush's Last Stand Begins
Damn! Another copter shot down in Iraq, making six in the past three weeks! Iranian secret weapons or not, Hadji Reb really seems to be getting his act together, whirlybird-wise.
This one was a mercenary chopper. It was shot down on January 31st but the news wasn't released until today. This brings up an interesting question viz. the cooked official casualty figures.
Officially the Iraq toll is now about 3200 dead Americans and about 30,000 wounded, many of them badly mangled and crippled for life, but those figures don't include the "security contractors," i.e. mercenaries, nor to they include other actual contractors such as truck drivers, engineers, oil company personnel, do-gooders like the tragic Marla Hrzicka who really wanted to help and got caught in the crossfire, etc. Almost a hundred journalists from all nations have been killed as well. So what is the real American and "Allied" body count in Iraq? Is anyone even figuring it up?
In the meantime, Moqtada Al-Sadr has made it clear how he's going to fight Jug-Ears' "surge"--he isn't. His Mahdi Army is going to ground; they have almost completely disappeared from Sadr City now, merging into the millions of Shiites in the capital, their Kalashnikovs neatly stashed away, and most known Sadrist officers and leaders have become "unavailable."
Al-Sadr is following the first rule of guerrilla warfare: maintain your command intact and never expend your precious manpower in pointless and bloody frontal assaults against the occupation forces. He's going to let the Americans do his sectarian civil war work for him and tussle with the Sunnis, who are now completely irreconcilable since the ghastly judicial murder of Iraq's last native ruler, Saddam Hussein.
The Imperial forces are going to be pretty frazzled by the time Jug finally picks his fight with Iran and (IMHO) the million-man Iranian army and Revolutionary Guards come storming across the border to seize the Basra oil fields and hammer at the exhausted, demoralized, poorly trained and incompetently-led U.S. and British forces.
At which point the majority Shi'ite population of Iraq will join in the so far mostly Sunni insurgency against the American occupation. In addition to a million fanatical, fresh, and well-armed Persian troops in front of them, the Americans will have hundreds of thousands of battle-hardened militiamen and guerrillas behind them and all around them. They will as well be facing a completely hostile population, a vastly extended and vulnerable supply line, a commander-in-chief who hasn't had all his marbles for some time, an American people who are finally understanding that we have been deceived and betrayed by democracy, and a world that hates and despises us.
Back in 1876, at least Custer let his own troops down the Little Big Horn and died with them.